Postpartum Prepping

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Basically since I became a doctor-mama, my go-to baby shower gift has been a big-ol-bag of all the things you’re gonna want to have around after you give birth that no one else will gift you. It’s not the kind of gift that gets a round of, “AWWWWW!!”, and I usually advise the moms to open in in private later so as not to embarrass the grandmas and/or husbands in the crowd. But, after going through the birth aftermath myself, I realized it was the best thing I could do for friends to save them or their loved ones that trip to the grocery store/pharmacy after birth.

close up of pink baby booties
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Of course, I realize most other people don’t do this for baby showers. So here’s a list of all the things you maybe don’t know you will need. Try to have all this on-hand by about 36 weeks gestation just in case things happen early. I went to get mine at *ahem* 36 weeks exactly and posted about it on Instagram stories (follow us @asamotherblog if you don’t already!). At that point in pregnancy, most women and their babes still go home in the normal 1-4 day postpartum interval so you won’t have extra time to prep.

Diapers & wipes

You probably got some of these at the shower, but make sure you have the right start-up stash before baby is there. You’ll want 1 or 2 boxes of newborn sized diapers. Don’t get much more than that at first because many babies grow out of the N-size fairly quickly. Get 2-3 boxes, minimum, of the size 1’s. Which diapers? That’s up for a whole separate blog-post debate… However! For the N’s, make sure it’s a sensitive skin or natural diaper option to avoid early diaper rash and the ones with the blue stripe to tell when it’s wet are wonderful for your addled post-partum brain. For the wipes, just buy the biggest possible box of SCENT-FREE, sensitive skin wipes. You’ll use them.

Kirkland - ibqh Baby Wipes - Ultra Soft - 900 Count Box rcuzj

Maxi pads

Speaking of diapers, you’ll be wearing your own as well. In the hospital, they provide lovely, actual adult-diaper sized pads and mesh underwear to house them. Grab a few extras for the trip home if you can. After that, though you’ll want a box of heavy-flow, overnight, extra-large pads to wear. You will bleed much heavier than a regular period for at least one week, sometimes 2-4 weeks post-partum and you canNOT use tampons. Get another box of lighter ones for spotting after which can be another few weeks. Get unscented, sensitive ones – your lady parts will be, well…. fragile, to say the least.

Pro-tip: Take ~6 of these heavy duty pads, soak them in witch hazel (see below) and freeze for your own soothing stash of ‘padsicles’, this tip brought to you by my fave pregnancy/post-partum book, The Girlfriends’ Guide to Surviving the First Year Of Motherhood.

Clothes

You might already be set here depending how you shopped in pregnancy. The basic wardrobe of your first 2 months postpartum is as follows:

  • Nursing tank top or bra + boob accessible shirt
  • Kimono or sweatery-type thing
  • Stretchy pants
  • Slippers or comfy socks
  • Granny panties

Nursing tanks have 3 varieties: comfy, sporty, supportive. I would get yourself MINIMUM of one of each if you’re planning to breastfeed for a while. Here are a few of my faves:

The bras also have comfy and supportive options. Get at least 1 of each. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT get nursing bras with underwire. This is a HUGE risk factor for getting clogged ducts which hurt like a mofo. You won’t need that kind of support anyway once your milk plumps those puppies up.

I am super excited that the drapey-cover-up trend is still happening because there are SO many cute options to turn your nursing tank into an actual outfit these days! I mean, you basically get to wear a robe in public and are insta-stylish. For your stretchy pants, you will continue to rock your maternity pants for a while – fold the over-belly ones down if needed. Also, have some high-rise leggings around. NO low-rise, if you have a c-section, those will push on your incision and hurt and if you don’t it will not support your recently vacated tummy enough.

Buy at least a 5-pack of large underwear you don’t care about. The underwear should fit you at 3rd trimester pregnancy because (hopefully you already know this), you will look 5-6 months pregnant for the first several weeks after birth, minimum. When in doubt, size-up. You need ones that are soft, big enough to hold those overnight maxi-pads and that are cheap enough you feel fine throwing them away after they’re stained. Black is a good color choice. Again, avoid low-rise, get at least mid-rise. And add on whatever slippers/socks you like if someone didn’t gift you.

Food

Moving on! In recovery from birth and when starting up nursing, you will need LOTS of easy food. If you’re getting hungry a lot, your body will have a harder time making milk. Stock up on protein and healthy-fat rich snacks that are easy to grab and eat one-handed. My go-to’s are protein bars like RxBars, cheeses, nuts and nut-butters plus something to slather them on. If you like it, lunch meat is also a great option (you get to have it again, yay!).

Stock the freezer with ready-to-heat meals and the pantry with easy sides. I keep around bags of frozen vegetables (much better nutrition than canned), a supply of ground grass-fed meats to throw into the crockpot for marinara or chili, microwavable brown rice and quinoa, sweet potato fries and other easy meals you can throw together 1 handed.

Drinks

Yes, get yourself some celebratory wine/beer/liquor. This should go without saying, but… Should you get drunk while you’re sleep deprived and breastfeeding a tiny human? NO. If you have a history of alcohol or addiction issues, should you jump off the wagon? NO. Can the rest of you have a glass of champagne to celebrate being an actual superhero-miracle-maker? Heck yes!

What I’m really talking about here though is hydration. You’ll need to drink 3-4 Liters of water daily, aka a GALLON A DAY, while recovering and nursing. If plain water isn’t your thing, stock up on what will help you get that in. Herbal teas with fenugreek are a great nursing support. These Upspring berry-flavor or chocolate options are also great. Fruit juices are cool if you’re not diabetic. Sparkling water counts. Just get. it. in. Avoid soda, please, for me?? It’s not good for your recovering body.

Baby First Aid

I strongly recommend getting the Fridababy Baby Basics set that has a snotsucker (much more gentle and effective than a bulb), a Windi (can be a miracle for colicky babies), the Dermafrida for your skin and nail clippers. This is great to put on the registry! Get some plain baby nasal saline drops for stubborn boogers. Have a good diaper cream on hand – Resinol has been our family go-to since I was a baby, but anything basic is fine. You also should have a rectal thermometer in the house in case you need to check a temperature accurately.

For your lady-parts

For you ladies who know you’re having a cesarean section for whatever reason, you don’t necessarily need this. For everyone else planning for a vaginal delivery, also get a large bottle of witch hazel or witch hazel flushable hemorrhoid wipes or pads. You will be far too tender to wipe at all at first and will just use the handy spray-bottle while you go then pat dry oh-so-gently. After that, though, you’ll want to use these gentle wipes, not dry TP for about 6 weeks. Also pick up a bottle of Miralax and some docusate stool softener if you’re not already using them. You’ll want your poo’s SOFT. Trust me on this.

Nursing supplies

If you can get a double-electric breast pump from insurance, definitely do that. If not, or I would say even if you do, I also recommend getting a manual pump as back up and for travel. It’s super helpful even if you’re not planning to bottle feed at all, just to have on hand if you’re engorged or have a clog. Also pick up a jar of organic coconut oil. This is by far the best nipple lubricant and safe for baby, no need to wipe clean before feeding. Put it on after EVERY feed and before EVERY pumping session until your nips have toughened up. You’ll usually be given some lanolin – this is usually WAY too sticky for sensitive nipples. Use it on baby’s bum instead. If it’s your first baby or you’re sensitive, you might need something stronger at first like this Motherlove Organic Nipple Cream.

Motherlove Nipple Cream Certified Organic Salve for Sore Cracked Nursing Nipples, 1 Oz.

Also grab yourself a pack of either washable or disposable (judgement free zone here) boob pads for leakage. I have hoarded all the removable pads from every swimsuit and athletic top I’ve ever bought and use those because they’re washable, but if you aren’t a weirdo like me, buy some 🙂

Last but not least, vitamins

You’ll need to stay on vitamins the whole time you’re recovering from birth (3 months) and longer if you’re nursing. You can keep taking your same prenatals if that works for you or transition to a post-partum vitamin. Two options that are good are Healthy Mama Postnatal and Naturemade Postnatal Support.

Be Well Rounded! Perfect Postnatal Multi-Vitamin +DHA Softgels. Once Daily to Optimize Nutrition While Breastfeeding. 1 Month

Nature Made Postnatal Multi-Vitamin Plus DHA Softgels, 60 Count

 

I’ll be adding Nerium’s Youth Factor vitamin and superfood drink because it can help prevent post-partum hair loss and might boost milk supply as well. Taking all the help I can get!

Here’s the list in-brief for printing:

  • Sensitive skin diapers: 1 box newborn, 2 boxes size 1
  • Sensitive, scent free wipes: largest possible box
  • Maxi-pads: 1 box overnights, 1 pack regular, unscented
  • Nursing tanks x3, Nursing bras x2, stretchy high rise pants
  • Pack of large, mid-rise underwear, dark colors
  • Slippers/socks if needed
  • Snack foods, pantry foods, freezer foods
  • Large water bottle (about 1 liter size), other hydration options
  • Fridababy Snot-sucker, nasal saline drops, Fridababy Windi, tiny nail clippers, rectal thermometer
  • Bottle of witch hazel or witch hazel wipes
  • Stool softeners (miralax and docusate)
  • Organic coconut oil
  • Other nipple cream if needed
  • Breast pads for milk leakage
  • Vitamins

Ok, I’ve got pregnancy brain and that’s all I can think of… all you experienced mamas out there, what else would you recommend?? Comment below!

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Annie Ray is a mom of 2 due any time now with baby #3, a family doctor and Target-lover in Sacramento, CA.

Plane Travel with Littles: Carry-On Packing List

We didn’t necessarily intend to travel a ton with our two little ones but life keeps putting trips in our path and we aren’t ones to say no just because we have young children. That being said, we have worked out a pretty solid standard packing list for our carry-on bags through trial and… *ahem* error. Some items are universal, while others of course depend a bit on age of baby/kid, so that’s how I’ll divide it here.

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Our strategy with liquids is to show up to the airport with empty bottles and obtain water or milk or juice while we are there – much easier than the TSA hassle. If you’re flying with breastmilk, it’s best to have it frozen. Hot water is readily available to thaw it.

Universal list

Of course your own wallet, phone, charger, chapstick, scarf, sunglasses, medications and earphones….

flatlay photography of woman s things
Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com
  1. Extra outfit (including underwear x2 for potty trained kids) for child in plastic baggy
  2. Extra outfit for you in plastic baggy (can’t stress the importance of this enough – kids can be naked wrapped in a blanket if sh*t hits the fan, you? not so much)
  3. Snacks: 1 per hour of travel. If baby is still nursing, these are of course for you since you are their snack. You’ll want these to be tempting enough that you can convince kids to eat easily during take-off and landing to pop their ears.
  4. Smallish blanket and lovey/stuffie
  5. Wipes – even if you’re well out of diaper change years, these are a good idea for wiping hands/noses/alllll the other messes and spills
  6. Cash in small bills – trust me, you’ll be a much happier traveler if you can pay people to move your luggage, use valet, and buy a snacks from a cash-only stand in case of emergency.
  7. Color photocopy of your child’s birth certificate and/or their passport. This is usually all you need to show for young kids and you can keep the actual identification packed deeply and safely in a zipper pocket so it’s not lost.
  8. Empty bottle, water bottle or sippie cup that seals completely – high altitude will otherwise make a major leakage issue!!
  9. Hand sanitizer. I prefer this spray, because it’s compact, smells nice and is easy to use and won’t leak.
  10. Empty gallon baggies x2 to contain dirty clothes, random snacks, puke…. whatever!

2-12 months

First of all, this list starts at 2 months because I do not recommend you take a baby on a plane younger than that unless absolutely necessary. There are a LOT of potential germ exposures and if that tiny newborn gets a fever, it’s considered a medical emergency and they would need multiple invasive tests to make sure they are safe. That being said, if you’re forced to travel between birth and 2 months, the list would not actually be that different. This assumes you’ll have baby as a lap-rider, not in their own seat – if you’re lucky enough to be able to afford the latter, you’ll also have the carseat.

  • Diapers: 1 per hour of total travel (car to airport, time in airport, plane, waiting for bags…. the whollllllle time) plus enough to get you to a store to buy more at the destination.
  • An extra extra outfit for baby – 2 total outfits. If you know your baby is prone to lots of pukes or blow-outs, do 3.
  • Extra pacifier (if your baby takes one) on a leash
  • Baby carrier of choice
  • Extra muslin or thin flannel blanket
  • Entertainment Ideas: You want things that are small to pack, can be cleaned and are not going to get lost between or under the seats when baby plays “throw on the floor” repeatedly.
Bright Starts Clack and Slide Activity Ball
Activity Ball: can be put on a leash so you don’t lose it under the plane seats and can be wiped down if dirty
Baby Paper Crinkly Baby Toy, Triangle Print
Krinkle paper: no one knows why babies love this so much but they do.
Baby Teething Necklace for Mom, Silicone Teething Beads, 100% BPA Free (Gray, Mint, White, Gray)
Teething necklace: you’re gonna get slobbered on anyway, might as well have it be something easy to clean.

If you breastfeed exclusively, that’s it!

PRO TIP: Do whatEVER you have to do to wait to feed baby during take-off and landing. Hold out until the plane is actually accelerating down the runway or your own ears pop. IGNORE the people giving you dirty looks as baby screams while you’re on the runway or in the initial descent. This is the best way to make sure their tiny ears pop. For older kids – hold out with those fruit snacks, juice boxes, etc… for the same time period.

If you pump:

If you formula feed:

  • Empty bottles with nipples and caps x2
  • Formula servings for twice the amount your baby would normally eat in the TOTAL travel time. ie: if the time from leaving your house to arriving at the final destination is 8 hours door-to-door and baby usually takes in four 4oz bottles in 8 hours (16oz) pack enough formula for 32 oz of bottle. This ensures you’re ok in case of delays, dropped/lost bottles and baby eating extra for comfort, etc… We loved this Joovy container to keep servings straight, but you can also just pack in baggies.

1 year through potty training

    • Optional: 1 bottle of milk in a cooler bag if you’re worried there’s not a cafe or shop you can buy some milk past security.

Potty Training and Beyond

A note about screen time here…. should you plug your kid into a screen for hours on end on a regular basis?? NO. Should you let them watch 2 movies back to back on a plane so you can read a kindle book and relax? Heck to the yes! Embrace the screen time during travel, it will save you so much sanity which you’ll need when dealing with checked luggage and rental cars.

  • Tablet loaded with a couple games, movies or shows. We Real M*thers love Endless School Bundle, Daniel Tiger’s Grrriffic Feelings, Shape Builder, Magic Fingers Lite and Peg + Cat Big Gig. Post coming soon with more info on this!
  • Headphones

These are super comfy, pack down small and come in all different fun styles.

  • Water wow pads and MagnaDoodles are still great fun for bigger kids, and coloring books are also a great option at this age.

To Gate-check or Not To Gate-check

There are a lot of arguments for/against the gate-checking of strollers and car seats. On the one hand, it can be convenient to have all of that right when you arrive. You don’t have to wonder if it’s actually going to make it to your destination because gate-checking tends to be super reliable. On the other hand, schlepping that mountain of stuff through the airport, folding it up on the jetway, waiting around for it on de-planing and schlepping some more is, well…. a schlep.

My strategy has always been to travel as light as possible, so we have usually rented at the destination. You can add a carseat to a rental car with any major company and get cribs and even high chairs from most hotels. You can also arrange rentals of strollers, bouncers, pack & play cribs and more through companies like Baby’s Away. They deliver and pick up from homes or hotels and have been fantastic for us.

Dr. Annie is a married mom of 2 with another one on the way and family physician with travel to more than 20 countries under her belt.

 

Dr. Annie Answers: Breastfeeding 101

Happy World Breastfeeding Week! Given the celebration of lactation we are in, I wanted to get out a quick and dirty, insider basics style guide to breastfeeding for mamas to be or current lactaters. It’s not comprehensive – for more details, please check out La Leche League, Kelly Mom and/or get a lactation consultation or talk with your own provider! These are just some hard-won tips of the trade.

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On demand means on freaking demand

Breastfeeding is not easy, people. I have lots of family doctor and OBGYN mommy friends who have ALL said at one point or another, “this was so much harder than I though it would be!” … and of all people we should know what to expect! Some people certainly have an easier go of things than others – a challenge rather than the literal blood, sweat and (so many) tears battle other mamas fight through. But if it’s possible to get your baby that “liquid gold”, the health benefits are innumerable for you and babe alike. Also… No shaming here for the mamas who truly can’t make it work! Breast is best, but fed is a damn close second.

1) Initiation

Starting breastfeeding off right begins at birth. This is a super important part of breastfeeding going well with less difficulty. Many hospitals around the country have signed on to the “Baby-Friendly Hospital” guidelines to help mom and baby get an optimal start to breastfeeding and bonding, which is FANTASTIC! This includes (see Baby Friendly USA for more info) 10 items the hospital must comply with to show they are on board with supporting breastfeeding.

Probably the most important of all is recommendation #4: “Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within 1 hour of birth”.

This goes along with another important recommendation that isn’t always included in hospital protocols: The Magical or Golden Hour. Babies should be delivered and immediately placed naked, skin-to-skin with mom and kept that way for at LEAST 1 hour after birth. That means no bath first (there is actually very good evidence your baby should NOT be bathed in the hospital at all to keep their healthy skin flora), no shots, no eye ointment, and assessments done ON MOM unless there is an urgent medical concern that requires otherwise for the first hour of life.

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Sweet Mimi in her Golden Hour

This is not the favorite policy of many Labor and Delivery floors because it delays some of the tasks needed to wrap up post-delivery care. As much as I love and hugely appreciate my L&D RN friends, this efficiency concern gets a big ol

The Magical Hour is profoundly helpful in establishing proper physiology, bonding and strong initiation of latch and breastfeeding and should be protected. It is truly magical. Most babies will, completely independently, literally crawl up mom to the breast and latch themselves properly with practically no intervention. Check out the YouTube video and hundreds of others if you don’t believe me.

There are, unfortunately, sometimes medical emergencies that make this not possible. That’s ok too! Do as close to this as you can. Mom can’t do skin-to-skin? Dad/partner/birth partner can do it. Baby needs to be monitored more closely? Get mom or dad touching them as soon as it’s medically safe. Once you can, do skin-to-skin for as many hours of the day as you can to catch up. Some wonderful providers have even started doing skin-to-skin in the OR for their cesarean birth patients when it is safe. Do your best!

2) After The First Latch, Lube it Up

After you get that initial magical latch in, the real fun starts. Bring in and use nipple oil (I prefer coconut oil, some use lanolin or compounded ones with both) after EVERY feed. Warm it gently between your fingers and slather it on there. Wipe off any excess gently with your breast pad before the next feed – but no need to wash off.

Whichever your choose (if you can, buy a small one of each and figure out which you like best), try to pick an organic one – we’re talking about some of the very first things to go into your baby’s mouth and gut. Spring for the best.

3) Ask for Help

If you don’t have a doula to personally help you, ask for help from the birth center. Most hospitals now have staff lactation specialists who can come help you. DON’T pass this up!!! Unless you’re an ultra experienced mom of multiple babes or lactation nurse yourself, have them check you out. Get comfortable with what to look for in a good latch and have them demonstrate with you and your actual baby several different positions.

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upside down side lying position to sooth baby for photo shoot… not super highly recommended

 

If you don’t have access to one right away, there is guaranteed to be an experienced nurse on the floor who can help and then schedule your lactation consult for after discharge. La Leche League website is a great place to find local support and resources for follow up.

4) Fuel Up

You’ll need to eat and drink a LOT for your body to make enough good milk. You should aim for 3-4 liters of water or other hydration daily. Keep a LARGE water receptacle by you at all times. Make sure your support person knows to refill when low. If you’re thirsty, you’re already over a quart of water low.

Breastfeeding burns up to 800 calories a day in the early days. As you’re starting out, you’ll want to eat like a teenage boy doing two-a-day practices in the middle of a growth spurt. All of a sudden, the crazy guy who speed-eats 100 hot dogs will seem somewhat reasonable. Go for it. If you want to be “healthier”, focus on getting in LOTS of fat and protein and limiting stuff with chemical additives or added sugar. Yes fat. You’ll burn it off later – don’t worry. No dieting of any kind until after 6 weeks when your milk is established. period.

5) Forget All Else

This is the last of the basics I’m gonna throw at you. For the first month (or two) of your baby’s life, breastfeeding should be your only task. If people want to come over? Great! they have to be people who 1) you’re ok with seeing your boob flopping around and 2) be willing to do chores with 3) no actual promise of holding or even touching the baby. Let everything else go – you eat, sleep and breastfeed.

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or not sleep…

Breastfeeding on demand (which will feel like the full 24 hours of the day) is the best way to make sure your milk comes in and your baby has enough. Almost no one truly does not make enough milk if they initiate feeding on demand without formula (or nosy know-it-all in-law) interference. Let your baby’s health care provider guide you on whether there’s enough milk getting in. Your job isn’t to guesstimate volume of milk, it’s to put a boob in the baby’s mouth every time they seem hungry. TheMilkMeg sums it up:

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Happy Feeding Mamas!

Dr. Annie is a family doctor and mom of 2 with 1 on the way with 25 months personal breastfeeding experience and lots more hours helping others. Please add your questions and personal tips to comments below! Let’s help each other this week and all weeks!

Dr. Annie Answers: Kid Vitamin Basics

Mother’s Day is this weekend which has me thinking about all the things moms have to worry about… one of the most common being the nutrition and health of our precious little ones. Almost every day at my clinic, I get some sort of question about vitamins – What’s safe? What’s necessary? Where do I get good ones? The answer, of course, varies by your particular health needs and should be discussed with your own medical provider. A few things are pretty generalizable though and I’ll delve into them here by age. This post is about kiddos – coming up next will be an adult version, so make sure you FOLLOW US to get that update!

Breastfed Babies, Birth through 12 months: 400 units Vitamin DScreen Shot 2018-03-09 at 2.08.17 PM

Vitamin D is needed for all babies who are breastfed half or more of their milk intake. I nearly always recommend Baby Ddrops for those who can afford the $10/month averaged cost. These are concentrated drops so, instead of getting your tiny baby to choke down a whole milliliter of vitamin D like the generic ones at the pharmacy, you only have to put 1 drop on your clean finger and put on baby’s tongue before a feeding. If your baby is formula fed, no vitamins needed, they’re already in there – see below for details.

Breastfed Babies, 4 months through 12 months: Add 6-11mg Iron

Iron is recommended for breast-fed babies after the first 3 months of life. Mom’s iron from the womb keeps them going up until that 4 month mark.

Sidenote…. One of the potential benefits of delayed cord clamping at birth is increasing baby’s iron stores for that first 3-4 month period (great review on this by Dr. Raju et al here.) . This is, of course, an important thing to discuss with your own pregnancy care provider, but worth considering for this and other benefits if there is no reason not to do it.

From ~4 months through the rest of the first year, baby will start eating more and more ‘real’ foods which can supply some iron, but usually not enough. The recommended amount by the American Academy of Pediatrics for babies 7-12 months is 11mg per day. For reference, you’d have to get your baby to eat 2 cups of cooked spinach to get that much – not gonna happen.

Option 1: at this age, stop Vitamin D supplement and change to multivitamin. Poly-vi-sol with iron is the go-to recommendation for most health care providers. However, my daughters both projectile vomited it, so we had to use alternatives. Other options are Zarbees Baby Multivitamin with Iron  and Honest Company makes an easy-to-give vitamin powder: Link herepexels-photo-533360.jpeg

Option 2: continue with Ddrops and give iron-only supplement like this one or give a serving of iron-enriched cereal daily. I personally, along with a growing number of pediatric care providers, recommend the former along with introducing iron-rich foods such as pureed meats, dark leafy vegetables, beets and beans before cereals as part of a healthier early diet. Baby cereals don’t otherwise have much in the way of nutrition or “taste education” for that little one. (References here in AAP News and here from NIH)

Formula-fed Babies up to 1 year

Breast-milk is best for moms and babies that can do it in all aspects except these 2 vitamins. Formula comes conveniently stocked with both Vitamin D and Iron so you don’t have to worry about the supplements. Certainly not a reason to choose it over breastmilk, but a nice side-benefit if it ends up being the right option for you. I usually recommend Baby’s Only Organic Formula or Plum Organics Grow Well Formula. Screen Shot 2018-05-07 at 5.58.09 PMThey are well tolerated (review here), have the right amount of all important nutrients and both come out to roughly $1/ounce (compare to Similac Advance Non-GMO at $1.25/ounce). They are also organic and free of corn syrup solids and chemical additives – which, when you’re talking about the ENTIRE nutrition of your tiny rapidly growing baby is important. AND!! You can get them both on auto-ship from Amazon so no leaving the house – bonus!

After 1 year: Vitamin D 400-1000 Units Daily +/- others…pexels-photo-61129.jpeg

This now depends on how picky of an eater your kid has become. If you have that amazing, adventurous eater who loves a variety of meats, fruits, and vegetables and drinks 2+ cups of milk per day, multivitamins are unnecessary. If your child doesn’t get 400-1000 units Vitamin D from fortified milk and other foods, they will need a vitamin D supplement again. Why? What about kids before the advent of vitamins?? Well, kids were outside ALL DAY without sunscreen back then. We now know better and protect their skin – the downside of which is low vitamin D.

If you do have a picky eater  – even if you’re not sure how picky is picky – a multivitamin can fill in the gaps. Again, the above mentioned Zarbee’s and Honest options are great as is Renzo’s Picky Eater Multi. If they’re getting extra of some of those vitamins, they will pee them out.

Hang on…. I hear a question coming out of the Ether….

“Dr. Annie, are the examples you listed above the only good options?? What about Flintstone’s vitamins or Olli Chewables?” Of course those aren’t the only vitamin brand options. If you want to check out others, just read the fine print on the label on the back and make sure they have the right amounts of the recommended vitamins.

Wait…. another one coming in…. “What about probiotics??” I’m so glad you asked! YES probiotics are so important from infancy through the rest of life – so important I’m going to write a separate post all about it ;^)

94 Dr. Annie is a family physician, wife and mom of 2 picky eaters In the Sacramento Area.

Friday Faves: Margo’s Go-To For Working/Busy Moms

Hi friends!

I want to throw some things out there (like my besties did) that I have found to be stellar items as a working/busy/tired mom.  (Brad Pitt dancing has nothing to do with this but I liked the gif, so there you go.  Happy Friday!)

Image result for gif for exhausted mom

1. Pumping on the go Accessories.  Before I even start with this, please know that FED is best.  So, while I personally loved breastfeeding, I have no judgements about how you feed your kids.  If you are a breastfeeding mama, I have a suggestion that changed. my. life.  One of the hardest things for me was finding time to pump.  Enter: hands-free pumping in the car (while I was driving, YES!). Working mamas who have jobs that require you to be out and about meeting with people and SAH mamas who spend their day driving kids around, running errands, and being a superwoman alike can benefit.

I put my Medela Pump on the passenger seat, zipped on my hands free pumping bra, plug in, put my cover on (to avoid peering eyes) and voila!  I was driving and making/storing milk.  HOWEVER, I noticed that I was going through a TON of batteries, and sometimes the pump batteries would poop out on me at the worst moments.  No bueno.

So, my husband set me up with a plug in the car.  Game changer!  Never again was I mid-pumping and realized I had no more power in the pump and ended up engorged.

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(Note: Do not do ANYTHING dangerous while driving.  I always set up the pump before I left my parking spot. Also note:  One time I got pulled over while pumping, but that’s a funny story for another time.  The only thing you need to know is that the police officer was super nice to me and I didn’t get a ticket for speeding!)

2.  Cooler cooler: Once you are done pumping?  Get that liquid gold on ice!  I used a small YETI Hopper cooler because it kept my milk SUPER cold, even in the summer, and for me was worth the investment.  I even did this all on a plane once (Southwest Airlines rocks!) and a male passenger chatted me up about how awesome it was to use a YETI to store breastmilk.  Now that I am done breastfeeding, my husband uses it for beer – Win, win for everyone.  Easy peasy, tata squeezy.  What did we do without/before technology?

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3. Kid Tracker.  You may think I am crazy for this one, but what the heck!  Judgement free zone, right?  I got this GPS tracker and watch for my each of my two kids.  I. Love. Them. I can see where they are at all times.  I can set up a perimeter and it will notify me if they leave that area (like my yard).  There is also an alarm if they try to take it off (or if someone tries to take it off of them).  It has two-way communication, and it has an emergency number they can dial.  It will also listen in on conversations (creepy I know) but if you are worried about an adult trying to approach them inappropriately in a public place like a large playground, this helps.  I have a big yard, you guys.  I want to be able to sit in the sun and let my kids run around.

Screen Shot 2018-04-26 at 6.09.29 PMOne day, before I had this, my son decided to visit a neighbor’s grandma who he loves (inside their house) without asking for permission.  One minute he was riding his bike in the driveway and the next minute he was gone, and the bike was laying at the end of my driveway.  Scariest five minutes of my life when I couldn’t find him.  I was running down the street screaming his name.  I had the police on the phone.  I legit thought someone had stolen him.  Not interested in that experience ever again!

4. Help with cooking.  Have I mentioned I am not very good in the kitchen?  Understatement of the century.  I have a dear friend (Hi Jennie!), though, who helps me out with this by getting me access to super awesome and necessary tools, like the Ceramic Egg Cooker.

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My Ceramic Egg Cooker makes me feel like SuperWoman in so many ways. I can enjoy a hot wrap with a perfectly Scrambled Egg (Who knew I was capable of that?), or make each kid a personalized order of Gluten Free Oatmeal (I didn’t even know what this was before Jennie)…  

This product is so multi-functional, and at only $15.50 it definitely gets it’s money’s worth!  Jennie made a page for our readership here: Pampered Chef Fundraiser.  Since May is Whip Cancer Month, a portion of anything you buy gets donated to American Cancer Society!  Getting this stuff has made it SO much easier for this tired, time-crunched and not-so-talented-chef mama when it comes to feeding my family.

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HAPPY SHOPPING!!!!!!